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State police: Four juveniles caused 'significant damage' inside Indiana Statehouse

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Posted at 2:05 PM, Mar 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-29 00:08:29-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Four juveniles were able to get into the Indiana Statehouse and caused "significant damage" when they vandalized several offices, House chambers and other parts of the building on Sunday, according to state police.

Indiana State Police Capt. Ron Galaviz said four kids entered the Indiana Statehouse around 4 p.m. Sunday through the west door. Three females and a male, ages 13 and 14, ran from Capitol Police officers before they were caught near the canal.

Capitol Police officers walked through the statehouse with a representative from the Indiana Department of Administration. Galaviz said officers found an office vandalized, a bench thrown off a balcony and the House chambers were accessed and vandalized.

"There was an office that was accessed, [there was] graffiti type drawing and writing, just a complete disheveling," Galaviz said.

While the exact amount of damage hasn't been determined, Galaviz said the juveniles did "significant damage."

The juveniles were released to their parents, Galaviz said.

Capitol police and several state agencies are reviewing the incident to determine how exactly the juveniles were able to enter the statehouse and what happened.

"We have access in here 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Capitol police come in and out of here all the time; they are a fixture here on this campus," Galaviz said.

State House Speaker Todd Huston, R-Fishers, released the following statement:

We learned of the damages made by multiple juveniles to the House Chamber on Sunday evening. Our initial assessment is that the damage in the chamber ranges from broken monitors to desktop items being trashed. At this time, we're not aware of any damage to historically significant items, and other House offices were not impacted. We continue to gather information and assess the situation. Just as Hoosiers do, we take great pride in this historical and special building, and it was beyond disheartening and frustrating to learn of this incident. We've already begun the clean-up process, and we'll continue working closely with the Capitol Police, governor's office and the Indiana Department of Administration.

WRTV Senior Digital Content Producer Andrew Smith assisted with this report.